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Maria Anthi

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Teacher Apprenticeship

As a Higher Level Teaching Assistant, Maria Anthi wanted to study towards gaining Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) while still working her full-time job. Supported by her employer, she’s now enrolled on the Teacher Apprenticeship at the University of Sunderland and is already putting her newly acquired knowledge and skills into practice, hoping to secure a teaching position once she completes her course.

I’d worked in a few roles within education before deciding to pursue the Teacher Apprenticeship, largely in learning support roles where I’d prepare resources, implement speech and language sessions, and provide any other support required in the classroom.

I currently work as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant for Year 2 pupils at a primary academy, which is part of a trust. This role still involves many of the duties I’d undertaken in previous positions, but I now also get the chance to provide cover for teaching staff when it comes to planning, preparation, and assessment (PPA), and lead daily phonics and maths lessons.

The Teacher Apprenticeship at Sunderland is a fully funded course and has been a great opportunity for me to combine studying towards gaining QTS alongside working a full-time job. Although the course is demanding when it comes to assignments, I’ve taken the advice of my personal academic tutor on board to complete parts of my coursework as often as possible. This has helped me to submit assignments on time and enrich my knowledge of pedagogy, so I’m managing to balance my university workload and job quite well. I also had to take an English functional skills test as part of the course, and the University has been very flexible, arranging support to help me complete it.

It's extremely beneficial to an employer if they have an employee who wants to progress in their career by studying for an apprenticeship. My dual role as an employee and a student has facilitated my learning in some of the most important aspects of teaching by observing my own class teacher. Everything I’m learning on the course, I’m putting into practice, helping me to improve my teaching style and support children’s learning. I’m grateful to my employer for allowing me to pursue this apprenticeship – they’ve shown great flexibility when I need to be on campus and have helped arrange my alternate placement.

Since starting the course, I believe I’ve improved my organisational skills and gained knowledge around the theory behind many different pedagogical issues, which has enabled me to improve as an educator. When I complete my apprenticeship later this year, I’m hoping to apply for a teaching position within the same trust I’m working for now.

I’m so grateful to have been accepted onto the Teacher Apprenticeship and it’s been a very rewarding experience. The academic staff have excellent knowledge and expertise, and their supportive nature makes it a joy to learn from them.”

Published 24 January 2024

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